JANUARY: Colorado cross country skiing in the late afternoon shadows, followed by the warmth of fellowship by the fire, is one of my fondest memories of childhood in Aspen.

FEBRUARY: An ardent suitor with a formal proposal, or just another frog using Valentines’s Day as a cover?! Either way, I’d kiss it if I were you.

MARCH: During the last of winter’s darkness, fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies in tropical colors brighten the day as well as pare the pounds! It makes cleaning out the blender worthwhile!

APRIL: A beautiful carpet of crocuses are ready to greet the visitors at the botanical gardens. They remind me of how beautiful the world can be when nature is left to its own devices.

MAY: The quiet of koi, silently slipping through the lily pad-strewn waters of Seattle’s Japanese Garden, whisper the certainty of spring. I find them so relaxing to watch.

JUNE: Summertime in a bottle…close your eyes and conjure your own aromatic memories for a “scentimental” journey to summers past.

JULY: I love any great holiday involving decorating a bicycle, but fourth of July is my favorite. The town parades are always fun to watch, especially when they are followed by a great barbeque on a lazy, hot summer day.

AUGUST: Summers in Seattle, sipping an iced coffee by the lake. I love the way the cream artfully undulates through the coffee. I feel like I am steeping a wonderful blend of summer and relaxation.

SEPTEMBER: The excitement of new beginnings — another chance to get it right or learn something new! There may be no better adventure than the thrill of a book! Also, I’m a book-o-phile at heart.

OCTOBER: Thanks to the earth and to those who toil to give us rice…the grain that feeds the people of the world with an infinite variety of recipes.

NOVEMBER: Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf now? Go knit a metaphorical stole out of the intimidators in one’s life.

DECEMBER: Gingerbread houses with sweet sugar icing, adrift in spun sugar snow, cheer us on through the deep winter days.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Johanna